For parliament to bring large-scale revision projects to a conclusion is not an everyday event. Against this background, 2006 is a special year for OFCOM: after year-long debates, the National Assembly and the Council of States adopted the revised Law on Telecommunications (LTC) and the new Law on Radio and Television (LRTV).
The conditions under which access is to be opened up to the infrastructures of market-dominant companies was the most disputed issue in the telecommunications industry. The new law clarifies this and we trust that the new access facilities will stimulate competition. Not least the consumers should profit from this; they will also benefit from new clauses concerning consumer protection.
The Law on Radio and Television confirms the significance of an efficient public service for democratic opinion-forming and the cultural development of our country. The extension of fee-splitting should facilitate corresponding services at the local and regional levels. Broadcasters who do not receive any public funds will also benefit: thanks to new advertising opportunities, they will be able to open up new sources of revenue.
On the frequency management side, we can report on a major step towards the digitisation of radio and television. After lengthy preparations, which have been made in close cooperation with the competent agencies in neighbouring countries, we obtained the desired frequencies at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) in Geneva. In the future, additional distribution facilities will be available which we hope will also benefit the public, in the form of more varied programming and improved reception quality.
Passing legislation is one thing; implementing the new statutes, however, is another. Much remains to be done here and the legislators’ efforts will have to be validated in practice. In this context we are dependent on the cooperation of all those concerned, since in the final analysis it is only possible to work out concrete solutions within a framework of communication.
Martin Dumermuth, Director